Platform games on touchscreens. We know. But occasionally, they’re really good.
Take the first Mikey game, Mikey Shorts, essentially a stripped-back speedrun Mario, with the titular hero leaping about, collecting coins and trying to not impale himself on spiky enemies patrolling the platforms.
Follow-up Mikey Hooks added swinging about using grappling hooks, before the series honed things down. Mikey Boots dispensed with traditional platform-game controls, strapped jet-boots to Mikey, and had him hover about in something akin to ‘Flappy Bird with style’.
Now Mikey Jumps removes scrolling, and has all interaction reduced to single prods of the screen – and yet it’s the best Mikey to date.
Mikey jumps. And swings. And flies.
Each single-screen challenge finds Mikey facing a number of platforms suspended in space, littered with a worrying number of spikes.
Things start off with a friendly tutorial noting how you can tap to make Mikey jump as he auto-runs, unless you’re happy to see the little chap plummet to his doom (you monster).
Gradually, new concepts are introduced, riffing off the previous Mikey games. The grappling hook can be unleashed by holding the screen at opportune moments, and jet-boots are acquired when leaping into a handy pair hovering inside a bubble.
Initially, it’s all oddly sedate, but by the fourth level set, hand-holding ends. After that point, Mikey Jumps uses its hands to repeatedly punch you in the face.
Mikey dies. Repeatedly.
Although not as maniacally fast as some hard-as-nails platform games, Mikey Jumps certainly doesn’t make things easy.
You’ve got a split second to figure out each level, before leaping, swinging and jet-booting your way to the goal, precision timing being required at all times. Hit the tenth level and the game mercifully resets your lives counter.
If the three lives in the free game aren't enough, a one-off $1.99 IAP will up it to siz – which we recommend, if you don’t want to hurl your iPhone out of the window in frustration.
And that’s about it, bar coin collection. Grab some golden goodies and you can spend them in a seemingly mandatory bit of modern mobile games that hurls character customisation your way. Mikey with a punk hairdo, rainbow grappling hook and music coming out of his butt when flying? Yep.
But mostly, Mikey Jumps is all about 200 smartly designed levels, excellent refinement of platforming concepts for mobile on the go, and regularly making you feel like a ham-fisted idiot with sausage thumbs.
Mikey Jumps is available for iOS.